'Amaram Akhilam Prema' is currently streaming on Aha. Touted to be a family entertainer, it stars unfamiliar faces as newcomers, around whom a set of familiar faces play character roles. Let's find out whether the latest OTT release works.
Akhila (Shivshakti Sachdev) is the daughter of a doting father, Arun Prasad (Srikanth Iyyengar). She moves to Hyderabad from Kakinada after completing Engineering. She is an IAS aspirant whose beauty floors Amar (Vijay Ram), who starts wooing her whenever she visits the bookstore run by his father. After much wooing, an emotional Akhila opens up about her past to Amar. Her life hasn't been pleasant and this is when Amar takes a decision.
What went wrong with Akhila's past? Can she overcome her problems? Can she become an IAS officer? Can Amar win her love? Answers to these questions are found in the key portions of the film.
More than anybody, the film belongs to Shivshakti Sachdev and Srikanth Iyengar. As the daughter-father duo, they deliver strong performances. Shivshakti, who has been a Hindi TV actress, comes with a lovely smile and makes her pain relatable in the many sentimental scenes. As for Srikanth, he has been a constantly-evolving character artist; this film only makes his talent all the more enjoyable.
Vijay Ram is decent enough and he kinda looks like a certain shade of Ajay Devgan. Annapurna and VK Naresh are impressive.
Radhan's music is soulful, although there is a dose of an 'Andala Rakshasi' at places. The background music fits the bill. The cinematography is another plus. At 132 minutes, the film's run-time looks apt.
The film comes into its own whenever it focuses on Akhila's pain. The scenes where the young girl goes through emotional tumult have been done well.
Love stories are usually told from the male lead's point of view. 'AAP' tries to be different. This is Akhila's story, this is her father's story. It's Amar's story only next.
The scene where Akhila is tempted to meet Amar but is stopped by her IAS books is very realistic. Watch how the actress emotes her inner turmoil. The IAS books have so much emotional value for her. The scene brings this out remarkably.
Annapurna, as Akhila's grandmother, has a strong role. It's good.
The montage songs, one of which is a tragic song, help matters.
The climax should have been more poignant than what it is. Instead of delivering hard-hitting lines, it gets too melodramatic.
The last 30 minutes are heavy-duty. Yes, the story needed it to be that way. But director Edward Jonathan should have made it contemporary by avoiding some cliched lines, for example.
Although it is essentially a father-daughter story, it tries to project Amar as a saviour. This is somewhat artificial.
The film becomes silly when Amar pretends to be keeping his promise made pre-interval in a frivolous way when he clearly is not keeping his promise with seriousness.
What Amar does to woo Akhila is nothing but stalking. The portions overstay their welcome. Akhila being what she is, it would have been great had the scenes been substantial so as not to infantilize her character.
The film finds it hard to shake off the influences of a 'Nuvve Nuvve' and even an 'Akasamantha'.
In conclusion, the film is definitely watchable despite its flaws. You might find the sentimental scenes melodramatic. But 'Amaram Akhilam Prema' is still one of the few good films to have arrived on OTT in recent months. The comedy could have been better, the film could have done away with some familiar tropes. But its demerits don't undo its many merits.